AARP Consumer Watch: Time To Sign Up For Medicare; Avoid Confusion And Scams!

Medicare Open Enrollment has started, and will run through December 7

CHICAGO, Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This year, Medicare Open Enrollment and the launch of the new Affordable Care Act marketplaces are happening at the same time. Consumers need to be aware of this issue and, at the same time, guard themselves against possible scams.

Medicare Open Enrollment started October 15 and will last through December 7. As with every open enrollment period, you should take advantage of this opportunity to review your plan and make sure it still meets you needs. If it doesn't, you can shop for a news plan, including Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans; or if you're happy with the coverage you have, you do not need to take any action during open enrollment – you can keep the coverage you have.

This year, however, you need to know that Medicare Open Enrollment overlaps with open enrollment for the new health insurance marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act. The Illinois marketplace is called Get Covered Illinois.  Don't let this confuse you. The marketplaces are not for Medicare beneficiaries.

While you look for the best Medicare coverage, please also keep in mind that Open Enrollment is a good time for unscrupulous individuals to target older consumers with scams. Be especially aware of those scammers trying to sell Medicare beneficiaries a marketplace health coverage plan. It is illegal for anyone to knowingly sell a Medicare beneficiary a marketplace plan.

If you're happy with your Medicare plan, you don't need to take any action during open enrollment. However, if you would like to shop around for a new plan, use the Medicare Plan Finder tool to compare plans and select one that better meets your needs.  If you need help with this process, you can contact the State Health Insurance Assistance Program.

For additional information and resources, click on the following link:

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